Author Topic: 76 Eldorado CV Half Shaft Replacement- Upper Ball Joint Disconnecting  (Read 319 times)

Offline toukow

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  • Name: D. Harrison
At the risk of sounding stupid (ah, you're used to it by now!) , I've followed the factory service manual (and Chilton- who cares) on this procedure, and cannot get the half shaft out. Actually, I lie. I have not supported the car with the weight supported under the lower control arms per the FSM, so that maybe that's causing my clearance issues?

I researched here and read the following thread:
http://forums.cadillaclasalleclub.org/index.php?topic=114796.0

At that link TJ Hopland mentions busting loose the upper ball joint (I've never done one), which I'm guessing is required given my circumstances.  I read other threads on 1978 Eldo's , but I'm unsure if they are significantly different. There they mention busting the upper and lower ball joints apart.
 
So, my questions are:

1.   The factory service manual is incorrect in not listing this step, correct?

2.   Do I need to disconnect the shock or anything else?

3.   For the upper ball joint, should I avoid using a pickle fork in order to avoid damaging the ball joint boot, and just hit it on the side with a hammer once loosened (I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true)?

Anyway, if you guys can straighten me out on the matter, I'd appreciate it. Thanks Dean H.

Offline 76eldo

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When I do them I always pop the ball joint to get maximum clearance.

Generally if you follow the FSM things work out. You tube is another great resource.

Please be careful and take your time. It's a big heavy car and must be properly supported with heavy duty jack stands. On a lift is better but not always available.

The hammer method usually works but sometimes when they are frozen on there they are tough.

One tip, make sure that the original nut from the bad axle is the same thread as the new one. I e run into that problem and most of the new axles don't come with a nut
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443

I prefer email's not PM's   rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series convert with factory Tri Power
1960 Eldorado Seville
1970 DeVille convert
1976 Eldorado convert
1980 Eldorado Hess & Eisrnhardt convert
1981 Eldorado Hess & Eisenhardt convert
1985 Eldorado Biarritz convertible
2007 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 CT5

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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The only real way to loosen the ball joint is to strike one side of the upright with a heady hammer, whilst holding an even larger hammer on the opposite side.

The heavier the hammers, the better, as you need the "Shock" to free up the tapered joint.

In a Front Wheel Drive stub axle, you cannot use the threaded bar and bolt separator method, as the axle is in the way.

Bruce. >:D

PS.   Ensure that when you swing the hammer, there is nothing in the way that can be damaged.   Especially fingers.
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline Glen

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I use the tool shown in the YouTube video.  I used a die grinder to open up the forked jaw to get it around the ball joint. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcCfWmrVQfM
There are other sources for the tool, this is a google search for Ball Joint Separator. 
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ball+joint+separator&spf=1497249651998
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Offline Steve Passmore

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  • Name: Steve Passmore
I have all these types of tools for separating ball joints but nine times out of ten the hammer does the trick. One tip though, leave the nut on a few threads to spot things flying off.
Steve

Offline toukow

  • Posts: 23
  • Name: D. Harrison
Thanks guys.  From the various warnings, sounds like fun has been had by all in this type of endeavor. Iím guessing these have been apart before, given there is already a rebuilt half-shaft that Iím removing/replacing. 

The only real way to loosen the ball joint is to strike one side of the upright with a heady hammer, whilst holding an even larger hammer on the opposite side.

The heavier the hammers, the better, as you need the "Shock" to free up the tapered joint.

I just tried the 3-lb. hammer routine without the backing hammer with no luck. I may pull the caliper to allow for the backing hammer if needed. First, as usual, Iíll get a larger hammer!

I use the tool shown in the YouTube video.  I used a die grinder to open up the forked jaw to get it around the ball joint. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcCfWmrVQfM
There are other sources for the tool, this is a google search for Ball Joint Separator. 
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ball+joint+separator&spf=1497249651998


I have a pickle fork (not sure itís the right size). Perhaps itís much harsher than the Harbor Freight tool shown, given the fork must be driven in to separate. The HF tool looks reasonable cost if I canít get it to break free. That said, Iím not quite sure it can be inserted without damaging the rubber boot, but havenít tried it yet of course.



Generally if you follow the FSM things work out. You tube is another great resource.

Please be careful and take your time. It's a big heavy car and must be properly supported with heavy duty jack stands. On a lift is better but not always available.

One tip, make sure that the original nut from the bad axle is the same thread as the new one. I e run into that problem and most of the new axles don't come with a nut

I checked the nut immediately given both your and TJ Hopland's comment on this, and it's fine. I'm paranoid under the lift so do have 1 ton jack stands at each end to help.

 I have followed the FSM (for once) for all steps EXCEPT the statement to ĎRaise car so that front vehicle weight is supported at the lower control armsí. I have no way to do that with my lift, and they show a special saddle (Fig. 0-7) in the manual being used in order to do this- attached.

I infer that if it were supported off the lower control arms, the angle might be such that the half-shaft could be removed without the separating of the ball joint. I tried to jack under the lower control arm in order to change the angle, but the car started to raise off of the front jack stand so I bagged it. Iím going to reassess my positioning of the car on the lift, though I followed the directions exactly in the FSM or so I thought, as I may have too much weight to the rear.

Thanks for the 'hand holding' on this, Dean H.

Online bcroe

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76 Eldorado CV Half Shaft Replacement- Upper Ball Joint Disconnecting
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 07:16:01 PM »
If you back off the torsion bar adjuster bolt farther back, it will be easier to lift
the lower arm.  Bruce Roe

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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I just tried the 3-lb. hammer routine without the backing hammer with no luck. I may pull the caliper to allow for the backing hammer if needed. First, as usual, Iíll get a larger hammer! 
The hammer method id the best way to go, and it doesn't matter the weight of the pounding hammer, but how hard you swing it.   

The heavier the better, but the "anvil" hammer has to be heavier, and held solidly against the upright.

The big problem with the Pickle Forks is that they destroy the rubber boots, and I feel are only for use when a joint is to be replaced.

Bruce. >:D

PS.   I have belted the bejesus out of some joints, and they eventually separate.   But, they are best hit when some pressure is retained in the direction that the taper is pointed.
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline 35-709

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Replacement rubber boots are available, check with your parts store first to be sure.
1935 Cadillac Sedan resto-mod "Big Red"
1973 Cadillac Caribou - Sold
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon resto-mod

Offline Glen

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I have a pickle fork (not sure itís the right size). Perhaps itís much harsher than the Harbor Freight tool shown, given the fork must be driven in to separate. The HF tool looks reasonable cost if I canít get it to break free. That said, Iím not quite sure it can be inserted without damaging the rubber boot, but havenít tried it yet of course.

The problem with the pickle fork is it wonít fit in there.  On the my 68 ELDO the ball joint is in a small alcove.  If you push the pickle fork through, one of the tines will hit the knuckle before the fork can pop the joint.  I cut the end off the tine and that seemed to help.  The tool does a better job.  YMMV
 
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Offline toukow

  • Posts: 23
  • Name: D. Harrison
Re: 76 Eldorado CV Half Shaft Replacement- Upper Ball Joint Disconnecting
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 08:13:02 AM »
OK, I got this out quite easily yesterday without busting the ball joint loose, and I've not seen it mentioned in any of the threads on the subject. Seems to me it would work with either a two post  lift (which I am) or jack method of raising the car. I had just grabbed a sledgehammer to step up the forces involved when I tried this.

Full disclosure- I accomplished the compression of the lower control arm in the most MORONIC way possible, and will not share that method in a feeble attempt to maintain a semblance of dignity (for a change). What is described is how I should have done it!

 I had followed the FSM to the point of removal of the half shaft. All you have to do is build a wood crib (or place a jack stand) under the lower control arm and lower the car until the control arm is compressed and approximately parallel to the ground (achieving the factory manuals requirement of weight on the lower control arm). Once there, it came out quite easily by moving it inboard. I slipped the new one in place and raised the car again and proceeded with assembly.

It just dawned on me that you guys who are breaking loose the upper ball joint are NOT having to remove all that is called out in the FSM-  the inboard Ďoutput shaftí and associated strut, is that correct? That seems to have the advantage of saving removing 4 bolts, but more importantly not risking damage to the output shaft seal. Of course, if you're having a hard time with the ball joint as I did, the above method will work. 

NOTE: Both factory and Chilton manuals call for loosening the lower shock absorber support bolt, but neither tell you to retighten it as part of the installation steps, and I almost missed it.  I noted it in the manual for future reference, given my lousy memory.

Thanks for all the help, Dean H.

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: 76 Eldorado CV Half Shaft Replacement- Upper Ball Joint Disconnecting
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 08:40:00 PM »
The removal of the intermediate shaft is only relative to the right axle.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Online bcroe

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76 Eldorado CV Half Shaft Replacement- Upper Ball Joint Disconnecting
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 10:00:28 PM »
Quote from: toukow
Both factory and Chilton manuals call for loosening the lower shock absorber support bolt, but neither tell you to retighten it as part of the installation steps.     Dean H. 

On most such jobs, I just remove the shock.  Bruce Roe